Calling all central Indiana readers:

Please help select the next group of great ideas to be shared in the TEDxIndianapolis 2014 conference.

It’s free to come see all the submissions and place your vote. Which ideas do YOU believe should be shared this year?

The organizers say there are more than one hundred applicants for only about 18 openings, and they want the public to come vote on which speakers and ideas will make the line-up for this year’s event.

Three reasons to come:

  1. To influence which ideas will be shared on stage and on the web this coming October,
  2. To meet a lot of intelligent and interesting people from this area who come together both to support their own submissions and to vote for others people’s,
  3. AND to see all the submissions which won’t make it onto the stage. I’m sure there will be too many great ideas to fit in the available time slots, and this may be your only chance to see them—you could make some great connections!

…And if that’s not enough, stick around Fountain Square afterward to enjoy IDADA’s First Friday Art Tour and one of the many outstanding places to eat and drink in the area.

Place & Time:

Friday, June 6
5:30pm to 7:30pm

Well Done Marketing, 
1043 Virginia Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana
Public event, FREE

 

.

 

Advertisements

If you’re out this Spring to trim back new growth around the edges of your property before wildness takes over, you might just run into Poison Ivy and not even know it until too late.

In the Spring Poison Ivy has no tell-tale leaves yet, but (as I once found out the hard way), both the bare vines and new shoots can irritate your skin in the Spring just as badly as the leaves can during Summer.

One easy and free way to protect yourself from this “invisible” danger, is to cover your skin with long pants, long sleeves, gloves, and even goggles if plant material might strike your face. If you need to cover a gap between sleeves and gloves, cut the toes out of an old pair of socks and wear them on your wrists. Be sure when you’re done working around the yard to put all your clothing in the washer and then wash your hands.

BUT sometimes no matter how careful one is, that’s not enough. Maybe a branch got up your pant-cuff, or poison ivy cropped up where you never thought it would be and you weren’t protected. We don’t want to live in fear of the outdoors! So…

Thankfully there is one natural thing which really helps me whenever I get my skin poisoned by Poison Ivy:  Jewelweed.

While you can buy Jewelweed products online, I have no personal experience to be able to recommend which version is best (although while searching for photos I found this interesting product testimonial http://beautyinfozone.com/skin-care/secret-weapon-alert-creation-pharm-jewelweed-topical-mist/ ).

What I can tell you is that if you can find it growing wild, it’s easy to make your own treatment. Jewelweed “tea” won’t instantly cure Poison Ivy, but it will (at least for many people) remove the painful itching for hours at a time, and it’s safe to reapply as often as one wishes!

How To Make Jewelweed “Tea”. . . NOT for drinking, but for wearing!

You will have to locate and harvest Jewelweed during its short Summer growing season, and freeze the “tea” for use throughout the rest of Summer and into Spring. So use the links below to see what the plant looks like, and then go Jewelweed hunting. You may want to print a few pics to take with you on your search, so you can avoid simular-looking plants which will be of no help. It grows in semi-open shady, dampish places, like in a very young wood—the type you might find in urban areas, behind city parks or apartment buildings, and on undeveloped treed lots. In one person’s YouTube video, Jewelweed was found along a roadside (I’m guessing at the edge of some trees for partial shade).

Once you find the right plant, and you feel sure it’s the right plant, gather a big handful. When I did this, there were plenty so I plucked entire plants. However if you don’t find very many plants, I’m guessing there’s enough Jewelweed juice in the leaves alone, so you could try letting the plants continue growing by very gently picking just a couple of leaves from each plant until you have a big handful of leaves.

If you’ve picked entire plants, be sure to cut off and discard the roots, so as to not get dirt in your “tea.” Then, boil some water (just about enough to cover your leaves), turn off the heat and stir the leaves or plants down into the water. Let them soak until cool, remove the plants/leaves, and freeze the amber-colored water in ice cube trays. These are your “Jewelweed tea cubes.” Once frozen, seal the cubes in plastic to prevent evaporation inside the freezer. Whenever you have an itch you suspect is Poison Ivy, rub a Jewelweed tea cube on the effected skin, and return the cube to the freezer for later when the itch starts to bother you again.

IDENTIFYING JEWELWEED:

SUMMARY:

  1. Identify Jewelweed plants.
  2. Gather a handful.
  3. Trim off dirty roots.
  4. Boil water (in non-aluminum pot*).
  5. Steep (soak) plants/leaves in the hot water till cool.
  6. Freeze & seal for later use.
  7. Rub on irritated skin for itch relief.

*Side note: boiling water in aluminum releases aluminum into the water which is not a good habit, as too much aluminum entering your body can cause severe health problems.

.

© NPM

.

 

Being natural bodies, we fall under the power of inertia.

When we’re working, really working, we’re often energized and propelled by seeing progress, making small accomplishments, checking items off our to-do list, knowing that we’re finally moving in the right direction. We want to keep going to see bigger victories and reach the end of a project or mission. At least we want to finish something, some stage of work, so we can move on and not have to come back to it later.

If you were writing a report or email when someone yelled “quitting time,” would you stop in the middle of a word, or say “okay, just let me finish this sentence”? (And you’d probably keep going at least to the end of the paragraph!) If you were wiping a counter and saw food dribbled down the cabinet front, you’d wipe that too, and then seeing some on the floor you would clean that up too, which would lead you to see the pet’s empty water bowl which happens to be in need of washing before filling. While you might be thinking “when will I ever be done!?!” you would keep going because you are in motion and one thing leads to another.

When we’re at rest, we feel like staying at rest, either because we’ve worn ourselves way down with our overly long work sessions, and/or because it’s easier to dream than to act. It’s easier to worry and procrastinate than to get the blood flowing through our muscles and brains. Just thinking of all the work we have to do makes us feel tired and lost. We want another hour of rest before facing what feels like a loosing battle with life. (Hint: when we have a schedule, we don’t always have to think about all of our work—usually only the next thing on the schedule.)

When we are working there are always more things to do. When we are resting there are always other positions to roll into, limbs to stretch or retract, dreams to be watched.

But we are not only natural bodies. We are also spiritual beings inhabiting our bodies like exosuits. And it is supposed to be our spirits in control of our bodies. We are supposed to choose what’s wise and make ourselves enact wisdom. Wisdom doesn’t rely solely on willpower—it adds strategic management.

One of the delights in being self-employed is supposed to be the freedom to work when we want to, and not when we don’t want to. But that is only viable once we learn to value work and know how to motivate and schedule ourselves.

If left to my own tendencies I would probably have a 34 hour day/night cycle, but God only designed a 24 hour cycle for us. I believe He had reasons.

I’ve discovered that working to the end of one project, while other things pile up, collapsing in exhaustion and resting until bed-ache or an outside force (or family member) demands wakefulness, and then tackling another mountain of work of one sort other until that pile’s cleared away, is NOT efficient—or healthy.

You might think for instance, washing dishes only once per week would be more efficient than washing after every meal. That not thinking about laundry until you had a washer-worth of each type (lights, darks, reds, whites) would let you focus on other things for a week or two. That piling up unsorted receipts, and sorting out accounting and taxes all at once annually would be most efficient. Wrong, wrong, and wrong.

While there are sometimes real advantages to grouping work into batches, cutting down on time required to get things in and out and switch mental gears from one task to another, this definition of efficiency has to be kept in check. There can also be a disadvantage we should examine—the ripple effect on life flow.

Cooking and serving in the second half of the week may take longer and be far more frustrating when the most appropriate dishes are in the dirty pile from three days before, and are filling up half of the available counter space. Picking out an appropriate outfit for your day may also take longer and be less satisfactory when most of your clothes are dirty and waiting for that one big laundry day. Finding time for several days of sorting, categorizing, and adding up income and expenses can not only be hard, but it also means pushing a week’s worth of everything else off track every Spring.

You’ll also find that you work smarter, think clearer and faster, and feel more cheerful and creative when you go to sleep before you’re on the verge of illness, and get a sensible amount of sleep at least several nights per week.

So we need a schedule where everything gets done when it’s best for the flow of everything else. A little of this and a little of that, to keep every department of our lives running well. If you don’t believe me, try imagining the only grocery store in town saying that it’s more efficient to restock everything at once. What if they didn’t care that half of the shelves were empty and you couldn’t buy what you wanted, because there was still half a store’s worth of something for sale? And then what if everyone had to wait outside in line for three days while the whole store was restocked at once? This is an example of the ripple effect “efficiency” can have on the rest of life flow. It can be very inefficient for everything it touches.

The surprising part is that we will find that we seem to have more time–enough time–when we both have a good plan, and stick to it. That’s because we won’t be wasting time in confusion, frustration, and depression. You probably don’t know how much time those negatives take until you free yourself from them.

If your life is complex or you have many responsibilities, you may find it hard to make a plan or schedule which you can stick to. It takes thought over a period of time, and trial and error. Be willing to adjust when you find what won’t work.

I think my biggest problems with scheduling were being unrealistic with how fast I could work, not planning bumper time (for interruptions, bathroom trips, switching between tasks, etc), no allotment for the unexpected, and leaving no time for catching up when a project or chore didn’t fit it’s time slot. For years I refused to make a realistic schedule because I refused to accept it might take years to do as much as I wanted to accomplish in months. But I’ve found a time saver—a magic way to get more out of each day.

What’s important is to accept when you’ve found a workable schedule or plan, and then “just do it!” Know when to stop thinking thoughts like, “I wish I had a plan,” “I just don’t know how to get it all done,” “I’ll have to give up some sleep.”

Just do it” saves time. I’ll explain.

When you hear “stick to the plan” I’m sure that triggers the protest that our plans can’t take into consideration the unknown future, so we’re bound to have to go with the flow and that means we’ll get behind again, so no schedule is going to work. That’s what I used to think. However I’ve learned that the best defense here is to swap. For example, if you’ve scheduled an afternoon at the computer and your spouse invites you out on a date or your kid gets sick, tend to the family today but make sure you reschedule (and accomplish) that afternoon worth of computer work on the next day where you had intended family time. But only swap when it’s wise to, not when your whim dictates.

So I’ll say it again: once you have a workable schedule, just do it! Whether you feel like it or not, you can just do it. Do what your plan calls for, when it calls for it. If you’re scheduled to load the washer tonight, do it. Don’t say to yourself, “oh I know I’m supposed to wash laundry, but I have clothes for tomorrow and I just want to go to bed. It will be okay.” You could have done it in the same time it took you to debate and excuse yourself. Stay on track and you’ll feel incredibly energized! Telling yourself “Just do it!” is like revving your own engine—you’ll go farther faster. You’ll rest better knowing you’re on track, and wake up happier knowing your not starting the day behind on your chores.

Once you have a good schedule, you won’t have to constantly waste time thinking about what you’re forgetting to do, trying to figure out where to start, calculating what will happen if you put something off, and wallowing in negative thoughts.

Every time you “just do it” you find out you can do it, which makes you feel like you can do anything. And you can. Without wasting energy and time thinking and rethinking the routine and mundane, you’ll have more time and energy for bigger and better things. After a while your schedule will become habitual, and that will free up even more time and energy for whatever you choose.

ANOTHER TIP: Once you have scheduled time periods for each type of work, be thoughtful to choose the most important or forward-moving activity for that category. For instance, if you’ve allotted one hour with your child, which adds most to the quality of your relationship: passively watching a TV show together, or interacting imaginatively with action figures? If you only have an hour per week for social media, decide which will move you closer to your goal: to write a blog post, browse other people’s FaceBook pages, Tweet encouraging responses to other people, search for an ezine which might publish your article, or what? Accept the length of time you have for a type of work, and focus on using that time slot wisely.

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…” (Ecclesiastes 3).  It’s our job to discipline ourselves to do the right things at the right times.

 

© NPM

.

.
Holiday gatherings, and the month of dread which comes beforehand, are some of the most frustrating and depressing times for many people. These are supposed to be celebrations and reunions, but one of the biggest contributing factors which makes these events problems, is that so many people are measuring themselves and others with the wrong measuring sticks.

.

Tradition is to compare and judge others’ lives against one’s own life, based primarily and superficially on physical accomplishments, because these are the easiest things to put into words and are most similar across humanity in western cultural terms.

.

Examples: awards and educational degrees earned; prestige or money from jobs and number of promotions; home size, toys, and cars; money spent on gifts; kids and their growth, involvements or accomplishments; fun activities and places visited; number or class of friends; club memberships; books read or written; childhood dreams realized; etc.

.

But you can HAPPILY look like a failure by all of those standards, IF you have gained (or know you are gaining) understanding of humanity and of God, your reason for existing, and what will outlast the fleeting years at hand. For if understanding a good chunk of those things is what you pour your time and resources into, you can feel confident in your abilities to be an honest benefit to fellow humans and to the entire universe.

.

Communicating a meaningful measurement of your life is often hard, because there’s so much value in the fleeting moments which are like little pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, and just as hard to remember or explain their context.

.

Examples: the times you made someone smile, were kind to a clerk, gave a hug, answered someone’s nagging question, realized the answer to your own questions, forgave someone, lovingly sacrificed your own desires for someone else’s good. The times God’s Spirit embodied you and shined through to lighten and enlighten the world with love.

.

So gather with grace, confidence, compassion and love for everyone, wherever they measure up at the moment–or think they measure up–on any yardstick. Hope for meaningful progress.

.

Happy holidays!

.
© NPM

.

While searching blogs tonight, I came accross this great story of a little girl whose fanciful tale was published along with some other children’s stories, and how excited she was to see her own words in a book, and to see what other kids had written…

.

http://rachelsbooknook.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/write4fun-35/

.

I know that post was some time ago, but NOW all English-speaking kids ages 5 to 13 have an opportunity for the same kind of exciting, positive experience.

.
Enjoy reading the post in the above link, and then have YOUR kids enter Rifll Publishing’s FREE Kid’s Challenge/contest right now! (Or mark it on tomorrow’s schedule, if you are reading this while your kids sleep.)

.

Get all your questions answered here:   http://www.rifll.com/challenge.htm

.

Why do I have to write, mom?...What if it got published?...My writing, published?...Yup! Go to:  http://www.rifll.com/challenge.htm

Give your child the thrill of being published, plus challenge him or her to coming in First Place. Help your child enter now! http://www.rifll.com/challenge.htm ~Share the fun: invite friends & followers to participate.

.

.

ATTENTION ANYONE WHO:
has kids, knows kids, works with kids, or has a social media audience who has (or are) kids.

Rifll Publishing, Inc. is looking to tell all the kids ages 5 to 13 about a fun contest they can win.

You DON’T have to think your kid is the world’s next great author. And your kids DON’T have to love writing to enter. Rifll’s rules are simple; check them out, help a kid submit something, and the fun will follow!

Several First Place winners will be offered contracts to have their entries published in a paperback anthology of writings by kids and for kids.

All other entries will receive Second Place, and receive the option of being posted on a special page of Rifll Publishing’s website.

When’s the last time you knew of a child who had the pleasure of showing friends and family something he or she wrote, displayed on the internet; or had the pleasure of holding in their hands a book full of stories written by folks their own age?

Now you can help make that possible, for FREE.

Kids CAN write things that are fun and worth reading, and this challenge can ENCOURAGE them to love writing and reading.

Help your kids to enter.

Also please POST THIS to your blog, FaceBook, Twitter, email it out; tell your coworkers, your kids’ friends, teachers, and youth groups.

The more entries, the more fun!

See the simple details and answers to your questions on Rifll’s website: http://www.rifll.com/challenge.htm

Kid's Writing Challenge (contest) Deadline 12-31-12 ~ www.rifll.com

Kid’s Writing Challenge (contest) Deadline 12-31-12 ~ http://www.rifll.com
Kids ages 5-13 can enter & win publication!
Share the news. Help kids enter now!

.